REPORT | 20/04/2021 | Edu BuenoThe third quarter set the tone for a match that until then had been very evenly matched. The second episode of the tie will be played in 48 hours.
- 1 (Playoff)
- Tue, 20 Apr
Real Madrid began the playoffs with the inclusion of Tristan in the starting line-up for his first taste of EuroLeague action, along with Tavares in the paint. Madrid got off to a superb start with a 0-8 lead in the first minute and 50 seconds, thanks to three-pointers from Laprovittola (6 points and 3 assists in 6 minutes) and Abalde. Ataman could not take any more and turned to Larkin. Once he was on the court, the Turks stepped up their attack. Madrid began to make mistakes and Simon and Sanli restored the deficit in the following minutes to end the first quarter on the front foot (20-18).
Madrid resists the hosts’ onslaught
Anadolu Efes took control of the game with an attack spearheaded by Beaubois, who easily overcame the Whites' defence. The hosts increased their lead to 27-20 at the start of the second quarter (min. 12), but Real Madrid played patiently and rediscovered the fine momentum shown at the start of the second quarter. Pablo Laso brought on Garuba to contain Micic and Rudy in the number four position to slow the Turks’ offensive rhythm and the tactical switch paid dividends. Madrid bagan to produce the goods once again in attack with four 3-pointers, two of which from Thompkins, who notched up eight points without missing. Laprovittola, the other spearhead for the Whites, levelled the game at 39 in the 18th minute. Beaubois was again the difference-maker in the first half with 14 points, sending his side into the break on top (44-40).
Anadolu Efes came out with increased focus in the second half and Madrid were struggling to deal with their hosts’ defensive intensity, especially as their accuracy from the three-point line began to desert them. A 20-10 run against in the third quarter brought the scores to 64-50, meaning the madridistas were facing an uphill task in the closing stages.
Real Madrid never stopped fighting in pursuit of the comeback, with triples for Llull and Thompkins, but ultimately it wasn’t to be as Anadolu Efes took the game away from them. With everything going their way and the game all but over, the Turkish side increased their lead to 90-63 at the end. The first point goes to Efes, but Thursday is a brand-new game (7pm CEST). Madrid have experience of coming through a play-off having lost the first game by a significant margin… only to go on and win the Euroleague. This game saw Llull move into second on the all-time play-off three-pointers list and fourth for assists.